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Facebook says it is more aggressively enforcing content rules

SFGate Thursday, 23 May 2019
Facebook, facing withering criticism from governments around the world, said Thursday it has been more aggressive in recent months about getting rid of hate speech — removing 4 million posts during the first three months of this year.

In a report the company releases biannually, Facebook also said its automated detection software that eliminates illicit content is improving: It now automatically detects and removes more than half of the hate speech.

Regulators have expressed renewed interest in cracking down on Facebook after a mass shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand, live-streamed the killings on his Facebook account. The video was viewed just 4,000 times before Facebook removed it, but it spread rapidly across the internet and was reposted millions of times.

The quick distribution of the video — and the apparent inability of Facebook and other tech companies to stop it from spreading — led to calls from regulators who said the company must do a better job of policing the content posted on its platform.

The video prompted government leaders from around the world to sign on to the “Christchurch Call,” an agreement to limit violent and extremist content online. Facebook said it would introduce stricter policies for live-streamed videos.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a call with reporters that he had recently discussed regulation with President Emmanuel Macron of France and that governments around the world should take a more proactive role in the regulation of online speech.

“If the rules for the internet were being written from scratch today, I don’t think people would want private companies to be making so many decisions about speech themselves,” Zuckerberg said.

Facebook said that of the 4 million it removed, 65% were detected with artificial...
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